Tuesday, June 30, 2020

ISKCON Alachua Hare Krishna Temple, Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Weekly Temple Newsletter

Photos of the ISKCON Alachua temple deities, Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, Sri Sri Radha-Shyamasundara, and Sri Sri Krishna-Balarama

As the number of Coronavirus cases increase across our state and county, the temple is reducing its opening hours to close by 7:00 pm each evening, and will remain open for visitors only during arati times. We've reduced the number of marked yellow X spots in the temple room to 35 to provide more physical distancing. Kirtan leaders are now required to wear face masks while leading. If you or a household member are feeling sick with symptoms of COVID-19, or have tested positive within 14 days of visiting the temple, please let the temple management know.

Baby Gopal, the bull, has passed away. We're looking for volunteers to revive the Devotee Care team, providing assistance to community members in need. Krishnanandini Devi Dasi, mother of 10 and longtime member of the Grihastha Vision Team, will share her realizations of five decades of Family Life in Krishna Consciousness. We're posting plans for our upcoming summer festivals including Chandan Yatra, Jhulan Yatra and Balarama Jayanti. Read on for details...

ISKCON Alachua temple building, view of front entrance

From the Temple President

The temple is currently open daily at the following times, with restrictions.

Mangal Arati

4:30 - 5:15 am. Everyone attending should stand on a physically distanced marked yellow X. Wear your mask during kirtan. For the Nrisimha prayers, please sit on your designated spot or on the bench, 6 feet apart from others.


5:15 - 7:15 am. You can chant japa outside after mangal arati, not in the temple room.

Greeting of the Deities and Guru Puja

7:15 - 8:00 am. Sign up below to attend our busiest darshan of the day. Please list how many family members will be coming with you. We have 30 spots available per day, and once that number is reached, please choose to come on another day.



8:00 - 8:45 am. You may sit on a designated yellow X spot, or on the benches 6 feet apart. After the communal call-and-response chanting of the verse, you may temporarily remove your mask during the lecture.

Visit During Arati Times Only

In addition to the above mentioned morning program, the temple will be open for deity darshan only during arati times as follows: 12:00-12:30 pm Raja Bhoga noon arati, 4:15-4:30 pm Dhupa arati, 6:30-7:00 pm Sandhya evening arati. Do not come outside those times. The temple will close at 7:00 pm every evening, including on Sundays. You must wear a mask and maintain physical distancing of 6 feet, and may be asked to leave if you don't. Please plan your visit accordingly.

Sign up to Lead Kirtan

Use the button below to sign up to lead a kirtan during one of our daily aratis throughout the week, including on Sundays. From now on, the person leading the kirtan must also wear a face mask and maintain six feet distance from others.

Sunday Darshan

You may come for darshan between 4:15 pm - 6:30 pm on Sundays. (The temple closes at 7:00 pm.) Enter the temple room via the right side door nearest Srila Prabhupada. Please offer your prayers standing and avoid bowing down on the floor. Follow the route delineated with marked yellow lines outside, and pink arrows inside the temple room.

The attendant at the door will allow a limited number of people at a time to enter for darshan. You may stay in the kirtan for a few minutes on one of the designated yellow X spots. After a few minutes, please exit so the next group can come in.

Prasad To-Go: You can pick up a to-go box of Krishna prasad at the exit gate on your way out: roll down your back window or pop your trunk and a devotee will put the number of prasad boxes you request into your car (one per person please).

Sponsor a feast to honor an occasion or a loved one. Click here to sponsor the Lords' prasad and distribute it to all the devotees. We will place a sticker with your name and occasion on every box; get the blessings of the Lord and His devotees!

Govinda's Gifts Now Open on Sundays

Govinda’s Gifts is now open on Sundays from 4 pm - 6:30 pm. 

  • Please be wearing your mask when you come in. 
  • Three shoppers allowed inside at a time. Please no hanging out or socializing inside the gift shop. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR COOPERATION. 
  • If there's something you want that you don't see, just ask and we will try to get it for you. 
  • WE HAVE MASKS FOR SALE: 100% cotton, adjustable, breathable, comfortable, reusable and washable $3; the disposable, single-use masks are $1. EKADASI HING is also in stock.

Temple Lunch

If you would like to get temple lunch prasad, come to the front entrance at 12:30 pm and our guard will place the prasad to-go meal box into your car. Donations accepted.

Basic Rules

The following basic rules remain in place.

HAND WASHING: Before coming to the temple, wash your hands with soap and water. On entering the temple room, use hand sanitizer. 

MASK-WEARING PROTOCOL: Your mask protects me, my mask protects you. We are a community that cares about each other. Everyone coming to the temple must bring and wear a face mask; If you are doing service alone, you do not have to wear the mask. However, keep it on and practice physical distancing whenever you are near, talking with, or singing with, others.

Wearing masks is mandatory in Alachua County. If you do not have a face mask, cotton masks are now available for sale in Govinda's Gift Shop on Sundays, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm for $3 (reusable) and $1 (single-use). Children over 2 years old should also wear a mask. This is not optional.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING: Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance when you are around others at the temple.

PERSONS WITH UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITIONS: We urge anyone who is at higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 to continue sheltering at home, such as senior citizens and anyone with underlying health conditions. You can watch the temple programs online at our YouTube channel to greatly lower your risk of infection.

IF YOU ARE FEELING SICK, STAY HOME: If you or anyone in your household is currently sick, or has recently been sick with a cough, cold, 'flu, fever, shortness of breath, or any possible COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to the temple for at least 14 days after you and everyone else in your family has recovered.

IF YOU OR ANYONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, do not come to the temple until you and all of your household members have fully recovered and have subsequently tested negative. Please notify temple authorities if you suspect you are sick with, or have tested positive with COVID-19 within 14 days of visiting the temple.

RETURNING FROM HIGH-RISK AREAS? SELF-QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS: If you, or any members of your immediate household, have recently returned from locations with high concentrations of community spread of COVID-19, including international travel, Brazil, Russia, India, the UK, Europe, Asia, Atlanta, Miami, other large metropolitan areas or any dark purple counties on this map showing the highest concentration of current COVID-19 cases in the US, self-quarantine for 14 days and do not come to the temple during this time.

ENTRANCE GATE CHECK: When coming to the temple, stop at the front gate to let our guards know the reason for your visit. They may ask you questions about your health, whether you have been traveling, and may ask for your email address and phone number for contact tracing purposes.

If you are interested in serving as a security guard, especially on weekends, please contact Mukhya D.D. or Tamohara D. via the contact information a the bottom of this newsletter

Mukhya Devi Dasi

A VERY BIG THANK-YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CONTINUES TO TITHE AND SUPPORT THE TEMPLE. It is incredibly heartening to see how much our devotees love and appreciate this temple, especially in challenging times like these.

Community Announcements

If anyone has any milestones to share please let our community know, so we can honor you and your loved ones. Send announcements along with a photo, if possible, to our contact email below.

Loki wanted: If you have an abundance of Loki squash, bring it to the temple and we will use it for the Sunday feast.

Alachua Temple YouTube Channel: Please help promote the ISKCON Alachua Temple YouTube channel. Share the link with your friends on social media and invite them to subscribe, so more people can benefit from our daily classes, kirtans and Deity darshans.

Amazon Smile: If you are ordering from amazon.com, please do so via smile.amazon.com and click ISKCON Alachua as the charity to benefit from your purchases. It's easy and costs you nothing, and Amazon will match a portion of your purchase price as a donation to your temple.


Updated: Sunday Darshan Protocol

You are invited to come for Deity Darshan on Sundays between 4:15 pm and 6:30 pm (the temple closes at 7:00 pm). Here are the details you need to know, along with a short, updated video demonstrating the procedure:

1) When you drive in, stop at the Guard Desk. You will be asked a series of questions, such as "Do you have a cough, cold, fever, or shortness of breath?" You will also be requested to give us your name and telephone number for contact tracing purposes (in case anyone later finds out to be COVID-19 positive we can immediately contact those who attended that day's functions.)

2) It is imperative that you wear a mask when coming to the temple; please bring your own. (See protocol above for wearing them.)

3) Physical distancing needs to be maintained. We have put yellow tape markers on the floor outside the temple room for visitors to stand 6 feet apart, where we request you to wait until the next space inside becomes available.

4) You will be required to use hand sanitizer provided by the greeter before entering the temple room.

5) Follow the pink arrows around the room and take a moment in front of Srila Prabhupada and each Deity altar to offer your prayers (remain standing up). If you would like, you can stand on one of the yellow X markers spaced 6' apart on the floor and participate in the kirtan for a few minutes. Please limit your time in the temple room for the benefit of other visitors. If there is no crowd you may stay longer.



  • Wear a mask whenever you will be among other people.
  • Keep at least a 6' distance between yourself and others.
  • Wash your hands frequently throughout the day.
  • Assess your own health, stay home if you don’t feel well, and keep your immune system strong.

Summer Festival Plans

Sri Sri Radha-Shyamasundara during a previous year's Chandan Yatra festival.

Here's the plan, thus far, for our upcoming summer festivals. As things shift with the spread of the Coronavirus in Florida, our plans may change.

Chandan Yatra, Sunday, July 19

This will be a normal Sunday-style walk-through darshan with allowance for a few minutes pausing on the x marks, and a prasad feast boxed and given at the exit as usual. 

Jhulan Yatra, starting July 30, for five days

Each morning for five mornings, we will hang the Lord's swing outside, devotees will line up in one line and use a spray hand sanitizer on each person before they swing. Pushing Radha-Krishna in Their swing will happen only in the mornings. Live kirtan outside.

Balarama Jayanti, Monday, August 3

This is our 10th anniversary year of the installation of Krishna-Balarama! In order to limit the crowds, the morning class, morning abhishek (with pujaris only) and accompanying kirtan will all be live streamed on our Youtube channel. Join in via the Internet for a very special program that happens only on Balarama Jayanti: the Upasana Ceremony; then chant 108 names with us (from home), glorifying Lord Balarama via a live streamed Fire Yajña (time to be announced). You can come for a walk-through darshan ONLY from 4:15 pm until 7:00 pm (doors locked at 7:00 pm). The prasad feast will be boxed and made available for drive-through pickup.

Information on our Janmastami Festival, to be held on Tuesday, August 11, will be coming soon. (At this point we are planning to allow visitors to come for Janmastami in shifts throughout the day, but we'll need to recruit an army of volunteers to manage the crowds and accomplish this in a safe, physically distanced manner.)


Volunteer for Devotee Care

The temple is looking for volunteers to revive our Devotee Care team, to provide assistance to aging or ailing devotees in our community. Examples include bringing temple lunch to devotees who cannot cook for themselves due to illness, or providing an occasional ride to community members without cars, to take them shopping or to doctor's appointments. Serving Vaishnavas in their time of need can be a rewarding and deeply fulfilling experience. Please consider volunteering for this important service. If you're interested, email contact@alachuatemple.com and we will get in touch with you for specific aspects of this service you'd like to do.


HG Krishnanandini DD to Share Realizations About Family Life in KC

Grihastha Vision Team member, Prabhupada disciple and mother of 10, Krishnanandini Devi Dasi will share her realizations about 48 years of Family Life in Krishna Consciousness with the Alachua devotee community via live video call on Sunday, July 12 at 1 pm EST. This will be broadcast on our ISKCON Alachua Facebook page and Youtube channel; relevant questions will be relayed.

Mother Krishnanandini joined the Hare Krishna movement as a teenager with her mother and siblings in Cleveland, Ohio in 1972. Overcoming racial discrimination at her home temple, she and her family drove to Dallas where they received initiation from Srila Prabhupada. In the five decades that followed, together with her husband Tariq, she's home schooled 10 children, who have gone on to become doctors, engineers, teachers, and initiated devotees of Krishna.

Among many other accomplishments, Krishnanandini and Tariq run the Dasi/Ziyad Family institute to promote healthy families and relationships, serve on ISKCON's Grihastha Vision Team counseling hundreds of devotees, and have organized KC interfaith festivals in the Cleveland area.

For the past few years she has been battling cancer and is now entering hospice home care, preparing for her life's final exam. Please take advantage of this opportunity to hear Mother Krishnanandini speak about her realizations of a lifetime of service to Srila Prabhupada, raising Krishna conscious children, and compassionately caring for devotees worldwide.

Here's a PDF with a biographical message and more family photos sent to us by her son, Syama Vallabha Das.


Ox Baby Gopal Departs After Loving Reunion

The ox Baby Gopal at right, with young Surabhi at left.

Baby Gopal was born in the spring of 2003 on Deer Run Farm in nearby Columbia County. He was rejected by his mother for some unknown reason. So his owners, Al and Barbara Bluhm, called him “Baby” and lovingly raised him as their pet. A decade later and retired from farming, they needed to find a new home for their 10-year-old, 1800-pound Baby. They contacted Save the Cow, an interview was conducted, and everyone agreed that Baby was a good candidate to join the herd. He arrived just before Christmas 2013 and, Baby, soon “initiated” as “Baby Gopal,” fit right in.


The Bluhms regularly visited Baby Gopal over the years and financially contributed to his care. Other sponsors included Balavanta and Ballavi Ogle, Naren Godugula, and Anusha Surapaneni. Baby Gopal was a mellow fellow and got along well with other cows including new calves such as Surabhi and, more recently, Madhva.


As he aged he naturally slowed down but remained in relatively good health until just a few weeks ago, when Devaki noticed he was eating a lot less than normal and became uninterested in treats. The vet came out, examined him, and found evidence of a heart condition, not unusual for a bovine of 17+ years (equivalent to an 88-year-old human). Soon after that Baby Gopal couldn’t stand up on his own and the vet prescribed some anti-inflammatory medicine, which also provided some pain relief. Hospice care ensued under shade trees in the pasture, which involved keeping him sitting up, making him as comfortable as possible with hay bedding, providing him with fresh water (by this time he stopped eating), spraying him to keep the flies away, and setting up a digital audio player of Srila Prabhupada chanting.

Baby Gopal when he was young, with his original owners, Al and Barbara Bloom.

The Bluhms were contacted and they came to visit Baby Gopal in the late afternoon. As they said goodbye it was obvious that Baby Gopal recognized them. By the next morning, Baby Gopal peacefully passed on to his next destination, having lived a long, good life, much of it in the dhama of Krishna-Balarama, Radha-Shyamasundara, and Gaura-Nitai.

Devaki dasi, of Save the Cow, who was his main caretaker, reflects on his passing: "Baby Gopal was a gentle giant. Despite his size, he was very shy and could be frightened easily. In all the years I cared for him he never once made an aggressive move toward me. I would often go up to him and place my forehead on his (which is a cow’s way of showing affection) and he would stand very still as long as I wanted. When we put little Madhva in with Baby Gopal he was always very tolerant of all of Madhva’s crazy antics and I’m sure Madhva will miss him as much as I do. "


Survey: Help Improve Our Online Sanga Offerings

With the help of the Community Development Initiative (CDI) we are expanding our ability to broadcast interactive evening Sangas over our several online platforms. We would like these online get-togethers to include a wide variety of discussion topics and readings presented by special guest speakers from our local congregation as well as from afar. We want to hear your ideas! Please fill out this online form to let us know what interests you most.


Things to do...

June 30, 9:00 AM EST: Harvard, Business and the Pandemic with Padma Locana Krishna das. A member of the executive team of the Corporate Learning Group at Harvard Business School Publishing will share potential lessons from the business world ISKCON can incorporate to move forward effectively. https://www.facebook.com/gbcspt

July 1-12, ISKCON Toronto will host a 12-day virtual Ratha-yatra and Festival of India, with cultural presentations, seminars, kirtans, kids' activities, cooking demos and more. See the FestivalofIndiaTO Facebook page for details, and watch the live events on either Facebook or on the ISKCON Toronto Youtube channel.

July 5, 10:00 AM EST: Overcoming Mental health Challenges in Spiritual Life, with Citi-Shakti Devi Dasi, a disciple of H.H Bhakti Tirtha Swami based in London, UK. She serves as a preacher, mentor & sangha leader. In her endeavors to make Krishna consciousness available to as many as possible, she reaches a broad variety of people including celebrities, politicians, health care professionals and students. Link: https://www.facebook.com/gbcspt

July 12, 1:00 PM EST, Prabhupada disciple and senior Grihastha Vision Team member, Mother Krishnanandini will share her lifetime of experiences raising a family of 10 children in Krishna consciousness. To be broadcast via live video stream on ISKCON Alachua's Facebook page and Youtube channel. Relevant questions and comments will be relayed.

Online Shastra Courses offered through various ISKCON educational institutions have been compiled in one convenient location, at the following website: http://www.iskconcourses.com/

There's more. We've moved our expanding list of ideas for KC activities to do while social distancing to the temple website. Click here...


Class Schedule & Vaishnava Calendar

Week of June 30, 2020

TUE 30 - Nagaraj Das - SB 1.7.29-30

WED 1 - Dharmaraj Das - SB 1.7.34-35


THU 2 - Nanda Devi Dasi - SB 1.7.36

FRI 3 - Adikarta Das - SB 1.7.37

SAT 4 - Pran Govinda Das - CC Mad. 17.184

Guru Purnima, Disappearance Day of Sanatan Goswami

SUN 5 - Shesha Das SF lecture

MON 6 - Narayani Devi Dasi - SB 1.7.38-39

Tue 7 - Trivikram Das - SB 1.7.40

Morning class times are 8:00 a.m. EST unless otherwise noted. The Sunday afternoon lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. Tune in live to our ISKCON Alachua Temple YouTube channel, or watch recordings of previous classes. You'll also find past Alachua temple classes in our lecture archive.


Departments and Features

Govinda’s Gifts (open Sundays 4:00-6:30 PM)

Guest Facilities at Temple (closed during pandemic)

Morning Sweets Sponsorship

Newsletter Online

Temple Volunteer Services

NRR Community Radio

Website Links:

Child Protection Team Info

Vaishnava Calendar

Temple Prayer Circle

Temple Website

Other Websites & Resources

Bhaktivedanta Academy (BANA)

Child Protection Office

Grihastha Vision Team


Krishna Lunch

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Cow Protection

Vaishnava Calendar Reminder Service

Hare Krishna Social Services:

For information or needs inquiries, email hkssalachua@gmail.com or call Radha Selvester 9 am - 9 pm 352 727 8211. Night time calls for serious emergencies only.


Newsletter Staff

Editor-in-Chief: Mukhya Devi Dasi

Production Assistance: Manoram Das

Article submission deadline: 1:00 p.m. Fridays

Send articles and photos to contact@alachuatemple.com. The editors reserve the right to exclude or edit submissions.

Dedicated to our ISKCON Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 

ISKCON Alachua Temple

17306 NW 112th Boulevard 

Alachua, FL 32615


Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

... and be happy!


ISKCON Alachua Temple FacebookISKCON Alachua Temple InstagramISKCON Alachua Temple YouTube

Questions? Contact us at 1-386-462-2017

Email: contact@alachuatemple.com

Website: www.alachuatemple.com

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